Self-reflections on getting laid off, having a North Star, and working for money vs. working for purpose

On my last day of work in 2022 (and unknowingly, my last day in that job at that company altogether), I guided a small team through a Connection & Resiliency exercise.

Toward the end of the session, everyone typed out and dropped their job titles in the Zoom chat. Then, I posed the question, “Were you put on this planet to be a [insert your job title here]?”

Across the board, the answer was a resounding 'NO.'

Next, we discussed how our purpose isn’t to have a specific title at a specific company, but rather, to stay true to our core values and use our jobs as a means of adding value + finding satisfaction in life. This is what equates to our North Star, not the titles we carry.

Exactly one week after this exercise, I was laid off.

This felt a bit ironic, but more importantly, it felt like a glowing opportunity.

My title: Director of Training & Development

My North Star: Helping others feel safe speaking and leading from their heart. I believe if more leaders prioritized Emotional Intelligence and truly put their people first, work would feel so much better.

I lost my title at the end of last year, but I didn’t lose my North Star.

Along with leading team L&D sessions, part of my job as Director of T&D was conducting 1:1 Career Development sessions for employees across the company.

This had been another means by which I could follow my North Star.

Recognizing the opportunity in front of me after being laid off, I decided to keep doing what I was doing and go all-in as an EQ-Focused Career & Leadership Coach!

New LinkedIn title, same North Star.

New path, same destination.

P.S. I’ve seen many conversations on working for money > working for purpose, and wanted to address that in this post.

Personally, without a strong sense of purpose, my mind will take me to a very dark place. However, I 100% agree that the compensation piece MUST come first (without the means to survive, I’d go to an even darker place).

In our society, we need money in order to have our basic needs met. And as humans, we must have our basic needs met before we are able to focus on anything else (re: Maslow's hierarchy of needs).

I would always encourage someone to find a job with the appropriate income for their unique situation first. Once they've got that covered, then I encourage they identify and follow their North Star. So compensation first, then purpose.

And hey, maybe you'd say "Jayme, working purely for the money IS my North Star!" I'm cool with that - I might challenge you and ask, what is that money getting you? Security? Comfort? Assurance your family's needs are met? There's a good chance what the money gives you is your North Star, not the money itself.

P.P.S. I am actively taking clients!

I want you to get paid AND have purpose.

If you’d like to grow your career and strengthen your Emotional Intelligence, you can find out more about my coaching process (and my pricing) here.

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